71. Christians Voting For Trump – How and Why?

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Andy and Tony discuss an article written by Sara Benincase entitled, “A Gentile Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump.”

Sticking to the Reconnect dedication of sharing and defending the Good News of Jesus Christ, Andy and Tony do share the Gospel in this episode as well as defend the Gospel in light of Sara’s claim that the Bible is a bunch of fables and myths, but there is a large focus on the broadened use of the term Gospel that refers to the Gospel biographies, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The article they are discussing claims that Jesus was a refugee, that he started free healthcare, that he was killed by conservatives, and that he certainly wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump, so Andy and Tony focus on discussing if Sara’s article accurately portrays what is revealed about Jesus in the Gospel biographies.  They also spend a good bit of time discussing if Sara’s article accurately portrays the things Donald Trump has said on the campaign trail.

Finally, they discuss how and why many Christians do plan to vote for Donald Trump and how it’s possible for them to do so with a clear conscience.

Show Links:

“A Gentle Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Skinned Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump” by Sara Benincasa

“Women’s Healthcare Will be Vastly Improved if Planned-Parenthood is Defunded” by Arina Grossu

“Donald Trump’s History of Empowering Women” excerpts from a Washington Post Article

Did Donald call all Mexicans rapists?  Check the actual quote that Andy read on the episode for yourself.

Hillary Clinton: Career Criminal – Must Watch Video If You Are Voting For Hillary

“I wrote about Max and Beth to Defend Christian Trump Supporters” by Mario Murillo

70. Does Baptism Save You?

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All Christian church congregations and denominations read God’s Word and have baptism and communion.  However, baptism and communion are both divisive within God’s Church.  In this episode, Wes and Andy discuss what Scripture says about baptism.  In particular, they address the questions:

  1. Does Baptism save you?
  2. Does a person have to be baptized to be saved?

The answers to these questions are important since they involve salvation and they have divided the Church for centuries.

Please look up the Bible verses they share as you listen.  Ask yourself if the verses convey promises of forgiveness of sins in baptism or promises of being connected to Christ’s death and resurrection in the waters of baptism.  Ask yourself if the verses they share emphasis the work of the believer in his or her baptism or the work of God through baptism.  Ask yourself how the forgiveness of sins that Christ won on the cross is delivered to people today.

Show Links

“Does Baptism Save You?” by Andy Wrasman

“Means of Grace Questions” by Andy Wrasman

“What is Baptism?” by Andy Wrasman

Contradict Movement Video Production Donation

69. Jesus vs. Marvel vs. DC

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Alan Shlemon created this slide for a presentation on the Doctrine of the Incarnation at this year’s series of ReThink Apologetics Conferences.

Scripture reveals that Jesus, from the instant of his incarnation, is both fully God and fully man.

The Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD produced the Chalcedonian Creed to counter the false explanations of the union of the two natures of Christ and the down-right heretical teachings concerning the incarnation of Christ.  Four key statements can be drawn from this creed:

1.     Christ is fully (perfectly) God.
2.     Christ is fully (perfectly) human.
3.     The divine nature and human nature are united in the person of Jesus Christ.
4.     Jesus Christ is one person.

These four statements can be placed along each side of a box.  This box is the Chalcedonian Box. As long as any teaching, anecdote, or analogy of the person and work of Christ maintains that Jesus is fully God, fully man, one person, with two natures, it lands within this box.  When one of these doctrines is distorted, or worse, erased, the teaching lands outside of the box is appropriately labeled a heresy.

Alan Shlemon, a speaker, teacher, and writer, for Stand to Reason, created a slide for a presentation he gave on the incarnation of Christ.  At the center of the slide is the Chalcedonian Box with a clipart image of Jesus in the middle of the box.  Outside of the box lies DC’s Batman and Superman and Marvel’s the Hulk and Spider-Man.

Wes and Andy discuss this excellent image Shlemon created!  Jon Pratt sits like a fly on the wall once again.

How are Batman, Superman, the Hulk, and Spider-Man not good analogies to use to explain how Jesus can be one person with natures?  Why does it matter if we are missing the mark of Scripture with these comic book analogies?  Also, more importantly, what Christological heresies align with these modern day comic book superhero analogies to let us know that people have actually taught Christ in these throughout history, and in some cases still do!

Show Links

Alan Shlemon’s Stand to Reason Bio and Speaking Page

ReThink Apologetics Conference (This is where Alan presented his Incarnation slide)

Read the Creed of Chalcedon (451 AD)

Chalcedonian Box Links – Compiled by Andy’s Teacher’s Assistant

68. Supernatural Horror in Music

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Joe Bongiorno is the owner and operator of The Royal Publisher of Oz.  He serves as the guest for the 2016 Reconnect Halloween Special to discuss Supernatural Horror in Music, the subtitle for his book, Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics Volume 1.

For many Reconnect listeners, it might come as a shock that a podcast dedicated to sharing and defending the Good News of Jesus Christ has an entire episode devoted to the lyrics of Black Sabbath, much less a Halloween special episode, however, Bongiorno took a surprising approach on how to start his eight volume anthology.  Even before the inside title page, publisher information, copyright listings, ISBN numbers, and table of contents, the first words are from the Bible.  Bongiorno chose to start Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics by quoting, Acts 26:17-18: “I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn away from darkness to the light, away from the power of Satan and to God.”  This is not what most people would think about to describe a rock n roll band, and certainly not what they would first think of for Black Sabbath.

Bongiorno shares the distinctions between supernatural horror and natural horror and explains examples of supernatural horror within Black Sabbath’s first album.  The horrors and consequences of the occult are revealed, a Christ-like figure emerges as a wizard that demons fear, the devil woos a woman he loves (or is it all deception?), while the wicked world spins on a man receive omens in the sky that he ignores to his and our peril, while all along at the center of the album, the “wall of sleep is lying broken” as the “sun shines in, you have awoken.” There is hope.  There is light.

The centerpiece message of “Behind the Wall of Sleep” contains what Bongiorno thinks is the underlying philosophy of Black Sabbath’s full body of work: “Now from darkness, there springs light.”  Over, and over, and over again, light triumphs over darkness in the metanarative of Black Sabbath’s lyrics.  Paul echoes this sentiment pointing us back to creation and the renewal of man that comes through Jesus Christ: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Show Links:

Black Sabbath The Illustrated Lyrics

The Royal Publisher of Oz

The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline

Black Sabbath Live in Paris 1970 (Full Show)

67. Francis Chan’s Crazy Love

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Andy takes another look at Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love.  Chan, like many Christians, desires to see Christians living godly lives that demonstrate a radical transformation, lives that should be drastically distinct from those of everyone else who is not Christian by demonstration of crazy generosity, crazy humanitarian aid, crazy devotion to the Lord and to all people, crazy abstinence from all forms of sinful desires, short Christians should love crazily, just as God has crazily loved us.  But how often and consistently do Christians truly and sincerely exhibit such crazy love?

If such love is the standard of being a Christian, then many of us are not saved, by Chan’s presentation of this crazy love mark of a Christian.  Where would David or Solomon fit with this standard?  Where would the chief of all sinners, Paul, who did not do the good he desired to do, but instead did the evil he hated, stand before an almighty God?  Would they be called friend?  Will they receive the praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”  Will any of us?

Judging our salvation by our adherence to the Law of God is devastating to one’s faith in Christ.  It takes our trust off of Jesus Christ crucified.  Instead of boasting in Christ, we are turned inwards towards our own deeds.  We must point to our works to demonstrate our crazy justifying love.  However, Scripture demonstrates that it’s from God’s love for humanity that he sent Christ who demonstrates that love for us by dying for all of our sins.  The penalty for all of our sins is paid in full.  That’s where our assurance of salvation comes, from an alien righteousness, a righteousness from outside ourselves that is imputed on us.  It is not an infused righteousness.

Show Links:

What is Law and Gospel?

Discerning Law and Gospel when Interpreting a Text

Reconnect Episode 27: Law and Gospel

Reconnect Episode 23: Law and Gospel on Facebook

Reconnect Episode 19: How do I Know I am a Christian?

You Shall Recognize Them by Their Fruits – Judging Other Christians